George R. Hanson
Inducted Saturday, September 16, 2006
George R. Hanson graduated as salutatorian from Moorhead High School in 1976. In high school, Hanson was part of a rock band that played at dances in the region. Hanson studied at Concordia College, Vienna Academy of Music, The Curtis Institute, and Indiana University.
Hanson served as associate conductor of the Atlanta Symphony from 1988-93, assisted Kurt Masur at the New York Philharmonic from 1993-2000, and was music director of the Anchorage Symphony from 1994-99.
Since 1996, Hanson has been music director and conductor of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. Hanson’s 2005-06 season brought conducting debuts with the Bremen Symphony Orchestra in Germany, the Mulhouse Orchestra in France, the American orchestras of Indianapolis and Charlotte, and the Arizona Opera. For the Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s Mozart festival in 2006, Hanson debuted as pianist, conducting Mozart’s concerto no. 23 from the keyboard. Hanson also conducted the National Symphony of Mexico as well as the Wuppertal Symphony in Germany, where he served as general music director for seven years concurrent with his position with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. Hanson was recently named conductor laureate of the Wuppertal Symphony.
In 2003, Hanson received the Echo Klassik award, second only to the Grammy in international importance, for his recording of music of Anton Rubinstein. Hanson has shared the stage with his mentor and teacher Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood, appeared with Tony Bennett and Dizzy Gillespie, and recorded with the rock group R.E.M. He has been featured on CBS’s Sunday Morning, NBC’s Today Show, NPR and Deutsche Welle, and was named “Young Musician of the Year” by Musical America.
Hanson has appeared with nearly 90 symphony orchestras and opera companies in 19 countries, including the New York Philharmonic, the orchestras of Warsaw, Stuttgart and Budapest, the Radio orchestras of Berlin and Hamburg, the Atlanta Symphony, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the South African National Symphony. Recent debuts include the National Symphony of Mexico, the Osaka Symphony (his Japanese debut), and the Nuremberg Symphony in Germany. His appearances at Carnegie Hall and Opera Bastille in Paris were widely acclaimed.
George is married to Petra Boehm. They have three sons, James, Victor and Max. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.